Orujo is a recognized traditional grape marc distillate from Galicia (NW of Spain). It is also employed as an alcohol base to elaborate coffee and herbal liqueurs and spirits. In this manuscript, quantitative descriptive analysis was applied to obtain the most important sensory terms that describe these traditional beverages. Thirteen trained panelists developed a complete sensory lexicon. Sixteen sensory descriptors (four in appearance, five in aroma, four in mouth, and three in aftertaste) were defined, valuated, and scored with the corresponding references, after elimination of hedonic, synonymous, and non-pertinent attributes according to statistical methods. The panelists evaluated a total of 464 samples in order to define their sensory profile. Panel performance was investigated showing good discriminatory ability, repeatability, and reproducibility. Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was also applied to identify the sensory descriptors that better discriminate the samples. The results obtained showed the importance of including new terms (orujo, chocolate-cocoa, floral, bitter, and astringent) in the tasting sheet, mainly in the case of coffee liqueurs to improve their sensory profile. The results of this study were useful for the development and implementation of an important tool for the corresponding regulating council in the sensory characterization and qualification of Galician liqueurs.
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